Corrections to the blogosphere, the consensus, and the world

Monday, April 05, 2010

Meme Old Thing

Trying to pull together ten books that have influenced me, with little success. I can think of authors, or thoughts, or positions, but when I think about it I have to admit
(1) it wasn't a whole book by that author, just an essay (Isaiah Berlin) or story (Borges) or a line (Wittgenstein).
(2) generally, in fact, not even a whole essay much more commonly, I picked up the author's thought or position from a secondary source (Whatsisname's biography of Berlin, say) or review.

The magpie approach. The one book I can absolutely list is exactly of a piece, Russell's History of Western Philosophy, providing secondary sources enabling me to dismiss every Western philosopher except Hume and as a bonus enabling me to feel it unnecessary to read even him.

1 comment:

John said...

The best thing I have seen on the "ten books meme" (is this the one started recently by Tyler Cowen?) Anyway what I like is the Toad's recognition of the way in which most of us are influenced.
For example how many peple have read Keynes' General Theory or anything secdondary about it - a lot less than those undoubtedly influenced by it?
Not always true of course: one blogger identified Hayek's Constitution of Liberty as a major influence and I am sure he did read it and was influenced, but you certainly have to have read something to be influenced in a Hayekian direction: he isn't part of the furniture like old Maynard.
PS The blogger is http://andrewcarr.org

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